After introducing video calling feature in the beta version, Whatsapp starting today has rolled out the update for the stable version with some optimizations for regions like India where network connectivity is not up to the mark. The update will be rolled out in 180 countries within next few hours across all platforms including iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
The news is notable for the simple reason that India is the largest market globally for Whatsapp, with over 160 million users at last count. That could mean that depending on the quality of the Whatsapp video feature, it could pretty quickly become the benchmark to measure other similar services.
“We want to make these features available to everyone, not just those who can afford the most expensive new phones or live in countries with the best cellular networks,” – said Whatsapp in a statement.
Jan Koum, Co-Founder also said – “We’re obsessed with making sure that voice and video work well even on low-end phones”.
In order to use this feature, one has to simply tap on the ‘Phone’ icon from a contact’s profile window. Tapping on the phone button will reveal a pop-up window asking for you to make either a Voice cal or Video call. Note, if you don’t see any such option we would recommend you to update the app or wait till the update is available in your area.
With this update, Whatsapp is now competing directly with Google’s Duo, Skype or even Apple’s FaceTime. Interestingly, Whatsapp is one of the most used chat messenger across the globe and with additions like Voice and Video calling feature, it certainly has an edge over its competitions given the quality of these new additions is on par with other services. We recently compared the video calling feature on Whatsapp with that on Hike, Check it out here.
Last week, Whatsapp introduced two-step verification for enhanced security which requires one to enter a 6 digit unique code every 24 hours and every time he/she registers her number with Whatsapp on a new smartphone.
Further, Whatsapp is reportedly testing a new status feature as well which is a lot like ‘Snapchat’. This move clearly indicates Facebook’s yet another attempt to conquer Snapchat after it introduced ‘Stories’ on Instagram.